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Directories will help you find

  • people
    • complete name and correct spelling
    • address, phone number, and affiliations
    • biographical data
  • organizations
    • full name and name changes
    • purpose and activities
  • government agencies and contact people
  • corporations
    • address and phone numbers
    • officers
    • company histories
  • local businesses
  • publications
  • products and services
  • lists of individuals or groups matching specified characteristics, e.g. members of an organization or all households within an income range or educational level, etc.
  • biographical information
  • information useful for a direct mailing or a survey sampling

Directories are quick reference works that

  • are systematically organized
    • generally alphabetically
    • sometimes topically
  • provide key information in a concise form
  • list contact and other information for
    • people
    • organizations
    • government agencies
    • corporations and businesses
    • publications and publishers
    • manufacturing and farming products
    • services
    • etc
  • cover all topics and geographic areas

Examples of directories are

  • telephone books
  • National five digit zip code and post office directory {call number HE6311 N3}
  • Higher education : a worldwide inventory of centers and programs {call number LB2326.3 A48 2001}
  • Hoover's handbook of world business { HG4009 H66}
  • Encyclopedia of associations { HS17 G32}

To find directories

  • do a SUBJECT search on a broad topic such as education plus the sub-division "directories" - for example "education - directories," "telephone - directories" or "business - directories".
    • look for a geographic subdivision between your broad topic and the subdivision "directories" if you want information specific to the country or region specified - for example "education-United States-directories".
  • do a keyword search on your broad topic and the term "directories" - for example "physicians and directories"

Always start by scanning the introductory pages at the beginning of a directory to learn how that directory is organized.

If you are not sure how a directory works or which directory would be best for your information needs, always remember ASK A LIBRARIAN.